How to Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe

How to Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe

If you turn on your faucet and only a trickle of water comes out, then it may be due to a frozen water pipe.

The most common place for a frozen water pipe is against exterior walls or where the water enters into your home through the foundation. In this blog post, we will discuss how to properly thaw a frozen water pipe.

Frozen Water PipeTips to Thaw a Frozen Water Pipe:

  1. Keep the faucet open
  2. Apply heat to the frozen section of pipe
  3. Continue to apply heat until water pressure is restored

Keep the Faucet Open

  • As you begin to treat the frozen pipe, water will start to flow through the frozen area
  • The running water will help to melt the ice

Apply Heat to the Section of Pipe

  • Use an electric heating pad, electric hair dryer, portable space heater, or towels soaked in hot water to apply heat to the pipe
  • Do not use a blowtorch, propane heater or other open flame device

Continue to Apply Heat Until the Water Pressure is Restored

  • Continue to apply heat until the water pressure is fully restored
  • If you are unable to locate or reach the part of the pipe that is frozen, you will need to call a licensed plumber

Future Prevention

  1. Insulate water pipes
  2. Disconnect water hose from outdoor spigot
  3. Insulate and heat drain lines

Insulate Water Pipes

  • Insulating your water pipes will prevent cold moving air and it will keep your pipes dry
  • This method alone does not prevent freezing
  • This method helps to slow down the transfer rate of the heat to cold

Disconnect water hose from the outdoor spigot

  • Before the temperature drops below freezing, always remember to disconnect the water hose from the outdoor spigot
  • If the hose is not disconnected, the water inside can freeze and continue back into the spigot until it reaches the pipe
  • Always remember, any pipe that is frozen can burst

Insulate and heat drain lines

  • Insulating and heating your drain lines in cold crawl spaces and basements is especially important
  • Focusing a heat lamp on the drain p-trap will prevent it from freezing


As a homeowner, preparing your water pipes from freezing should be on your to-do list before the cold season begins in Vancouver. The preventative steps will ensure your home stays warm, dry and damage-free when the temperate drops below freezing.

A frozen water pipe burst can turn a cozy night in your home into a bad situation, fast. If you think you have a frozen water pipe, call your local heating and plumbing experts from Universal Plumbing and Heating.

We offer 24/7 emergency repair services. Call us today at 604-873-3551.

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